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Namibia Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Namibia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting to contain inflation and boost the economy.

The repurchase rate was left at 5.5 percent, Governor Ipumbu Shiimi told reporters in the capital, Windhoek, today.

Inflation was unchanged at 6.1 percent in May after it slowed in the previous month, making it easier for the central bank to keep rates unchanged to support the economy as export demand for diamonds and manufactured goods waned. The key lending rate was last reduced by half a percentage point in August.

The Namibian dollar is pegged to the South African rand and the Bank of Namibia generally follows interest rate decisions set by policy makers in the neighboring country. The South African Reserve Bank has held its benchmark repurchase rate at 5 percent since a surprise cut in July.

Namibia is the world’s largest producer of offshore diamonds.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chamwe Kaira in Windhoek at ckaira@bloomberg.net; Amogelang Mbatha in Johannesburg at ambatha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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